What we talk about is what we think about and what we think about is who we are. Americans like to ask this question as an icebreaker, “What do you do?” By that we mean what do you do to make a living and the answer to that question often defines the rest of the conversation. If you love what you do, sure, but I’m interested in what you think, where you travel, who you are.
If you teach third grade and love it, that’s great. But maybe you’re a math teacher by day and a musician by night. Or a speech pathologist/yoga instructor or a corporate attorney who is focused on winning nationals in road cycling. Or a carpenter who wants to be a master woodworker.
Subjects I don’t like to talk about
Careers. I don’t really care. I do care about whatever you’re doing that you love. But I don’t care about career and mid career and achievements and getting a watch. I’d rather have a pony than a watch any day. Does your company give out ponies? If not, stop it already.
I don’t want to hear people advising me on my career and telling me where I should be with it. I do talk about this subject from time to time. With My Spouse.
That’s it; there is no one else I want to discuss my “career,” with. What if I find that I’m just messing around and I don’t even have one? I really don’t want to hear that I “should” be somewhere that I’m not. What should I do? Jump over a waterfall?
Health issues. I do talk health with my very close friends but other than that, I’m not fond of the ailment tribe. It’s sad, but I just can’t take it when someone at a party starts in on their spleen.
Stuff you bought. Okay, that’s just me being unaware of how impressive it all is, but stop it. Your car, your purse, your stockings. Are you kidding?
What I am game talking about:
1. What books you are reading.
2. What plays you have been to or concerts or art shows.
3. Where you are travelling.
4. What you are working on creatively.
5. Your kids.
6. Whatever you are pondering.
7. Whatever gives you joy.
8. Anything you are doing outdoors.
9. The last time you noticed the moon.
10. The last time you felt transcendence. –Is that the sun coming?